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Updated: January 5, 2024

Friday Food Insider: An Old West saloon planned for West Bayside

Photo / Alexis Wells Argenta Brewing will open at 82 Hanover St. in Portland.

The Portland beer scene continues to grow, this time with the addition of brewery in West Bayside.

Argenta Brewing, a tasting-room-style brewery specializing in lagers, will be taking over space at 82 Hanover St. this winter. The brewery is being developed by Ryan Dunlap, a Maine-based brewer who has worked in the industry for more than five years.

Argenta is set to open within Hanover Works, a retail and dining destination that will combine existing commercial spaces at 82 Hanover St. with four that are under development at the Armature, a brand-new, 171-unit apartment community. 

Dunlap started as a small-scale brewer in his home state of Nevada, then moved to Maine in 2019 and gained experience in local brewing industry across various roles.

“I moved to Bar Harbor after I graduated college and then I started working at Atlantic Brewing up there,” Dunlap told Mainebiz. “I was always super passionate about beer in college, did home brewing and was really into the whole beer scene back in Nevada. When I moved here, I was seeking out working in breweries, learning as much as possible with the goal of eventually opening my own spot.

“I have worked in a few different breweries in the area and worked in beverage distribution while in college,” he continued. “So I have been in this space for most of my working career and it's just a fun space to be in.

"I have worked in coffee shops for a while, which is a similar experience. It is fun to interact with the customers, make drinks and actually see people enjoy the products you are making.” 

Dunlap believes West Bayside is up-and-coming. The biggest draw is having the Armature apartments next door and knowing other establishments may be joining the neighborhood.

West Bayside is already home to businesses including Batson River Portland, Port Properties, Exterus, the Knickerbocker Group, CycleBar, Fortune Tattoo, Bayside Bowl, Wilson County Barbecue, Two Fat Cats Bakery and When Pigs Fly Breads.

Dunlap said it's nice to be a bit removed from East Bayside, where there's more brewery competition. 

“The way I like to see it is, the way breweries used to be and communities in general, is you go to the spot that is the closest to you and that is kind of the neighborhood spot. So, this neighborhood was lacking something like that,” said Dunlap. “I think that we can bring a lot to the table by being one of the only bar-dedicated spaces in the area.”

About the brewery

Combining Dunlap’s Western roots with his passion and knowledge for beer, Argenta Brewing will have five rotating lagers on tap, along with nonalcoholic and gluten-free options. He also plans to work with local restaurants and food trucks in the area to offer dining options, whether via pick-up or delivery.

The interior of the space and the brewery’s branding draws inspiration from historic Western saloons.

“Old bars I would go to in Nevada were legit saloons that have been around for 100 and something years,” said Dunlap. “So, it is cool to bring that slight feel of the Western saloon and have that slight Western vibe to Maine, which couldn't be more out of place.”

“I also tried to create what was called a lager saloon in the mid-1800s in some cities out west, where it was basically just a small brewery that would serve everything on site more or less like a pub-style brewery that mostly produced lager-style beers,” he said. “German immigrants opened them. So it is kind of this old-school pub saloon hybrid that I am going for.”

Argenta Brewing is slated to open by the end of February or early March. 

John Laliberte, CEO of Reveler Development, said, “Argenta Brewing will bring something entirely new to the area, and we look forward to seeing how Ryan and his team activate this space in the months to come.”

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